Side Project

Hey everyone!

I am taking a break from posting about my fiction to let you know about a side project I am working on. I have been working with New Life Family Prayer Center in Oviedo, Florida, to help them raise money for a project they are working on. The goal is to raise enough funds to have a homeless shelter constructed. Seminole County, where the nonprofit organization is located, has a high rate of homelessness, and this awesome group is taking a unique approach to solving the issue. Actually, it’s not really that unique, just unique to this part of the U.S. Utah already has decreased their rate of homelessness by 74 percent with this method being enacted on a statewide level!

Anyway, we are pursuing grants–both private and federal–as well as donations from businesses and individuals in order to make this possible. As one part of this, I’ve started an Indiegogo campaign to help them out a little bit. It’s a big goal, but we are confident we can do it!

If you are feeling generous, or just curious, feel free to visit the link and see what we are working on.

Thanks!!

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Guest Post by J.M. Preiss

Before J.M. starts, I wanted to let everyone know that I am very pleased to welcome him here! He’s a great writer and very imaginative, and you can check out a couple of his books for free on Friday (that’s today!!)! Follow the links at the end and get them.

Without further ado, here he is!

All right, so how do I get this thing started? That has always been a hard part for me when it comes to blogposts. Where do you start? I think I have a simple idea on what to do.

I want to start by saying “Thank You” to Matthew for inviting me to do this. It is an awesome opportunity that he has handed to me, and I am thankful of that. I was unsure as to what exactly to talk about; it takes a while for me to get the ball rolling, so I asked him for some ideas.

It is something that is interesting to reminisce about. How did I get started? Then I asked myself, “How does anybody get started writing?”

The answer to that, at least in my case, is that it just happens. Do not get me wrong, you have to have a drive to do it, but I think that it is something that you just kind of fall into. This can take many forms, the person writing for a newspaper, magazine, or class that wants something more from their writing, or maybe you are somebody that has a vivid imagination, and you started writing as a way to keep track of your dreams.

Something like that happened for me. I loved – and still do – telling stories. My mind is a powerful machine geared towards imagination. That might sound like boasting, but let me tell you, it tends to cause more grief than not. I am a worrier; I can tell you the majority of the ways a situation could go wrong with a few minutes of thinking about it, and boy can they get extravagant. That is unimportant though.

This imagination got me looking into writing for games, not writing stories for video games or your standard pencil and paper role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons. No, I was into the games that people came up wi th on forums. The forum I started and stayed at called those Story Debates, a type of play-by-post game. We would come up with back-stories for our character (often a sovereign nation for the ones I played in), and then we would interact with the creator and other players to weave an interesting story. It gave me a lot of practice at writing.

Fast-forward a few (seven or so) years, and I noticed NaNoWriMo. I thought, “Hey, I could do that. I could write a novel in a month.” No, I could not at the time, so I put that on the back burner. In 2011, I picked up the idea again to write for NaNoWriMo. I decided just before Thanksgiving that I was going to do it, and I did not actually accomplish my task; more than half of the month had already passed by, but before school started back up after Thanksgiving, I had written over 20,000 words on Time Jump. I put it on the sidelines to finish out the semester, and January, I picked it up again. I published Time Jump, the first book in the Halcyon Gate series, to Kindle in February 2012.

I started on the second book in the series, Eugenic Reprisal, shortly after, but I had to focus on school. I did not manage to get it finished until December 2013, and it went live New Year’s Eve.
Shortly after releasing Eugenic Reprisal, I finished and released The Sleeping Man, my new sci-fi novelette series that I will be running alongside Halcyon Gate.

Along the way, I graduated with my B.S in Physics, but my passion, my calling, lies with writing; telling that story. This is what I love to do, and I just hope that I do it well enough to keep on doing it and make a living with it.

If y’all want, you can find my works on Amazon, solely for the Kindle and Kindle app.

Time Jump (Halcyon Gate #1)
Eugenic Reprisal (Halcyon Gate #2)
The Sleeping Man (Tales of a Mediator #1)

And y’all can connect with me over at http://jmpreiss.blogspot.com where I am eagerly awaiting Matthew’s corresponding guest post.

– JM

Just Thinking Aloud in Cyberspace…

I have a lot of things I want to do after AWAKEN is finally released to the wild. I want to finish up my financial thriller. I want to co-write a book, tentatively titled SOLVERS, with a pretty cool person. I want to finish my Dante Devotional (book one is written, about 1/3rd typed).

I’m trying to figure out what my “platform” is, too. Remember that? Back before digital publishing, this was kind of important. A publisher wouldn’t pick you up unless you had a unique platform that defined who you were as an author and why only you could fill that position in the literary world. Does this still exist?

I honestly don’t think it’s really important anymore. Sure, there are authors like John Grisham (who I love), that write the same type of story over and over. Legal thrillers are a great genre, and Grisham is one of the best here. Harlan Coben (another author that I adore), writes thrillers with tons of twists and turns that are impossible to predict–another platform that he fills best. There are tons of examples that I could give, and you would probably recognize every name I threw out.

But for set platform, there are a few authors that don’t fit. The biggest name is James Patterson. He made his name writing thrillers, but now he writes young adult, historical fiction, tons of stuff. Neil Gaiman is another big name. Comic books, horror, fantasy, young adult, children’s books. And they’re all good.

Maybe today’s platform is that you can write whatever you want thanks to the increased ease of getting it into your readers’ hands? But do you have to be a big name to pull this off? I don’t see why you would need to. A “nobody” like John Locke can go from obscurity to one of the best selling independent authors ever in a few years. Does it matter what he wrote? What things have turned out differently for him if he wrote a few science fiction novels mixed in with his suspense? It’s impossible to say for sure, but I don’t think so. If anything, his audience would have increased in size.

So, no, I do not have a problem switching gears from Science Fiction to a financial thriller. I know both genres well, and I am going to use it to my advantage. This will be a fun experiment.

Lazy Sunday

Except not really. No Sunday is ever lazy for me. I didn’t go to church today like I meant to, but I did work all day on the computer. I edited one more chapter of Awaken, wrote a bunch of stuff for a client, and set up something exciting for later this week.

What is it?

Well, you are in the right place to find out! On Friday, I will be having a fellow author write a little blog entry for all of my devoted readers to enjoy. J.M. Preiss will be telling us a little story about how he became an author. Like AWAKEN, his stories are science fiction, some dealing with time travel. I am really excited to share his work with you, and I hope that the different perspective on becoming a writer is interesting for you.

You can find some of his Amazon titles here. Check him out!

Oh Yeah!

I finished the rough draft of AWAKEN.

It took me seven years.

But now it’s done. And because it took me seven years to get from the beginning to the end, I’ve done most of the editing already.

I want to write more, but not tonight. And definitely not anything concerning AWAKEN.

So! J.A. Konrath is really Melinda DuChamp! I found that out today when he announced it on Facebook earlier. Does that mean that he was actually interviewing himself in his blog a year or so ago when s/he released that Alice in Wonderland/50 Shades of Grey book? Just a thought…

A Little More Information

I have to figure out how to get my main character out of one last problem. And that’s it! The book is done–probably about 1,500 words to go (about 1/3rd of a chapter). The cover art will be done by the end of the month, and then I can publish it. Wowzers. It’s been a really long time in the making, but it’s pretty much made at this point so it’s time to sit back and enjoy the ride.

And by “sit back” I mean “make it successful.” Which involves absolutely no sitting back at all.

I created a Twitter account (@AuthorMGYoung) so follow me there if you want to read my thoughts in 140 characters or less. I will put stuff on there, here, and on Facebook. I might do other stuff, too, but we’ll see. For now I’m focusing on finishing the book and making it purty.

I was thinking of a blog tour, so if you want me to put something on your blog, let me know. I’m easy to get in touch with and I am obsessive about checking my email.

And don’t forget that Zenyatta is going to be free starting March 6th! Leave a review on Amazon if you want!